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What Is A Contingency Fee Lawyer?

If you have been injured or have a legal matter, one thing that may be holding you back from hiring a lawyer is a worry about how much you will have to pay a lawyer to represent you.

In fact, many people refrain from pursuing any legal action at all–which often is a big mistake–because they are worried that working with an attorney will cost them an arm and a leg.

This article will discuss what is meant when a personal injury lawyer claims they work on a “contingency fee”.

However, this isn’t always true – when you work with a contingency fee lawyer, you won’t have any out-of-pocket costs. Here’s what you should know —

Let’s get started.


Types of Fee Systems Lawyers Use

Different lawyers in different practice areas use different fee systems.

Some of the most common include:

  • Retainer fee. A retainer fee is a type of fee that you pay to an attorney upfront to retain their services. This type of fee isn’t refundable, isn’t the only cost, and is paid before any services are actually performed.
  • Hourly fee. One of the most common types of fee systems is that of the hourly fee, where a lawyer will charge a client hourly for their services. How much money per hour a lawyer charges can vary significantly.
  • Flat fee. In a flat fee system, you will pay the attorney one fee, agreed upon upfront, for whatever service it is you require. For example, if you want an attorney to review your divorce contract and file it for you, you may be able to secure a flat fee agreement for this.

In addition to the above, contingency fee arrangements are very common.


What Is a Lawyer Contingency Fee?

When a lawyer works on a contingency fee, this means that the lawyer getting paid is contingent, or dependent, on the client recovering a settlement.

As explained by the American Bar Association (ABA), the lawyer will agree to accept a fixed percentage of the client’s winnings at the beginning of the case.

Sometimes, this percentage will vary depending on whether or not the case goes to trial (if the case goes to trial and more work is necessary for the lawyer, the percentage will likely increase).

If the client loses their case, though, they won’t owe the lawyer anything.

(Note, however, that even if you don’t have to pay your attorney, you may still face fees for court filings, court time, witness depositions, etc.)


What Types of Lawyers Use Contingency Fees?

The vast majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement.

If you’re meeting with a personal injury lawyer and they tell you that they do not work on a contingency fee arrangement, you may want to think twice about hiring them.

In addition to personal injury lawyers, workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers will often use contingent fee systems, too.

Sometimes, contingent fee agreements will also be available for employment law disputes.

Contingent fees are not used in family law, bankruptcy, or criminal defense cases.


What Percentage Is a Contingency Lawyer Fee?

As stated above, you and your attorney will agree to a percentage before your case begins.

This percentage refers to the percent of your winning that you will pay your attorney if your case is successful.

Most of the time, a lawyer will request about 33 percent of winnings.

So, if you won $100,000, for example, you would owe your attorney $33,000.

This percentage may increase to somewhere around 40 percent if your case goes to trial. Percentages lower than this are rare but possible.

Should I Work with a Contingency Fee Lawyer?

If you have a personal injury case, working with a lawyer who charges based on a contingency fee system can be a big advantage to you!

First, an attorney contingency fee is one way to hold a lawyer more accountable to you.

This is because, since a lawyer only gets paid if you win, the lawyer will be more motivated to:

  • win your case;
  • recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you

Choosing to work with an attorney has another advantage, too: no out-of-pocket or upfront costs.

It can be frustrating to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to an attorney whose work does not yield desired results; with a contingent fee system, you’ll avoid this dilemma.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Hiring an attorney can be stressful, especially if you’re already feeling financially strained due to expenses related to a serious accident.

At the Pritchard Injury Firm, we want to help. Our lawyers always work on a contingency fee basis, and always work hard for you.

To learn more about attorney contingency fees and the percentages that we charge, to ask a question about your case, or to schedule a free consultation with one of our Georgia personal injury lawyers, please contact us directly or send us a message.

We are here for you.


Why Pritchard Injury Firm?

  • Millions of Dollars Recovered and Thousands of Cases Handled Each Year
  • Work With a Firm That Is Dedicated To Your Success 24/7
  • Work With a Team That Cares About You Both Inside & Outside of the Courtroom
  • Work Directly With Attorney Zach Pritchard

Contact Pritchard Injury Firm

We Protect. We Serve. We Win.
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